Reservation and preservation of embattled Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s elevated and pivotal seat became a holy grail for an overwhelming number of South Africans, who threw their weight behind him after he got embroiled in a standoff with the Hawks.
Ill at ease with the perceived witch-hunt, Satish Dhupelia marched down to the biggest street on social media [Facebook] on Saturday and created an account titled: “Support for Pravin Gordhan and a better South Africa” in a bid to strengthen support for the minister.
However, the Facebook account got dramatically shut down and members got blocked on Sunday for “misusing” the account. According to Facebook administrators, about 13,400 members were barred from having access to the page because the rate at which they kept inviting their friends to the newly created group was “too fast”.
Justifying the action, Facebook Help Page added:
“We have limits in place to prevent abuse of our features and to protect people from spam and harassment. Limits are based on different factors‚ like speed and quantity‚ but we can’t provide additional details on the rate limits that are enforced.”
Reacting to the development, group administrator Dhupelia expressed disappointment, adding that he only decided to blaze the trail because he and other concerned South African felt that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is being targeted because of his first-rate performance at the National Treasury.
Disappointed, Dhupelia disclosed that it hurts him most because Facebook’s action against the group looks suspicious.
He said: “I really don’t know what to think. I find it suspicious. If you stop me from adding people‚ because I did add 4000 friends and if they didn’t want to be on the group‚ then maybe you can block me from adding people. But to block every member from adding even one person to the group is strange.”
He added that he is still waiting for feedback from Facebook, having sent administrators of the social media two messages.